Knowledge Base


by Dr Vaid Ji on Nov 23, 2023



Leprosy, also known as Hansen's disease, is a chronic infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae. It primarily affects the skin, nerves, and mucous membranes, leading to skin lesions and nerve damage.


Leprosy is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae, which mainly spreads through respiratory droplets. Prolonged close contact with an untreated person with leprosy is a common mode of transmission.

 Signs and Symptoms:

The symptoms of leprosy can vary, and there are different forms of the disease:

 Skin Lesions: Pale, flat, or raised patches with reduced sensation.

  • Nerve Damage: Loss of sensation, muscle weakness, and numbness in extremities
  • Eye Damage: Leprosy can affect the eyes, leading to blindness if left untreated.
  • Thickened Nerves: Visible nodules or swelling along affected nerves
  • Loss of Fingers and Toes: In severe cases, leprosy can cause the loss of digits due to repeated injury and infection.


Complications can include permanent nerve damage, disability, and deformities if the disease is not treated promptly.

 Risk Factors:

 Close Contact: Prolonged and close contact with untreated individuals with leprosy.

  • Immune System: A weakened immune system may increase susceptibility.
  • Genetic Factors: Some people may have a genetic predisposition to leprosy.
  • Malnutrition: Poor nutrition can make individuals more susceptible to the disease.

 Management of leprosy according to Ayurveda

 In Ayurveda, leprosy is described as "Kushta" or "Mahakushta." Ayurvedic management of leprosy involves a holistic approach, considering the patient's constitution, dosha imbalance, and specific symptoms here are some general aspects of Ayurvedic management for leprosy:

 Detoxification (Panchakarma): Procedures like Vamana (therapeutic vomiting), Virechana (purgation), and Rakta Mokshana (bloodletting) are used to eliminate toxins and balance doshas.

  • Herbal Formulations: Ayurvedic herbs with anti-bacterial and immune-boosting properties may be prescribed. Examples include Neem (Azadirachta indica), Turmeric (Curcuma longa), and Guggulu (Commiphora wightii).
  • Dietary Modifications: A balanced diet is emphasized, with a focus on foods that pacify aggravated doshas. Bitter and astringent tastes may be included, while spicy and sour foods are often avoided.
  • Lifestyle Recommendations: Adequate rest, stress management, and maintaining personal hygiene are considered essential. Avoiding exposure to extreme weather conditions is also advised.
  • External Therapies: Local applications of herbal pastes or oils, such as a combination of neem and turmeric, may be recommended to manage skin lesions.
  • Rasayana Therapy: Ayurvedic rejuvenation therapies (Rasayana) aim to strengthen the immune system and promote overall well-being.